LegalJob responded to the following post on Monday’s Mailbag series.
Q: Your blog has some helpful tips but not sure how exactly to apply to my situation. I am a 3L graduating in May and I have no job prospects. Where do I start?
Answer: One post will probably not do this question justice but the advice should give you some idea on how to get started. Look for many more detailed posts on this subject. For now, here are three thoughts:
► Pick an area of law to focus on.
You may change later (and perhaps multiple times) but it is helpful to pick a specialty area (and even a sub-specialty within the area) so you have something to target. A good choice would be something you are interested in and an area in which you did well in law school (or one for which you have relevant job experience). If you did well, you will be in a better position to tell a potential employer why you are worth taking the risk and why the firm should focus on your performance in those classes.
► Secure a temporary legal job in that area.
Look for an opportunity where you can “work” as a law clerk at a firm (starting during your remaining two months of school) that specializes in the area and where there is at least potential to learn some substantive skills in the area. This may mean accepting a job that pays hourly (perhaps as a paralegal) or even working for free for the right situation. No guarantees but why not put yourself in a position to open doors for yourself and learn some law in the process.
► Network in a targeted way.
This step will take lots of your time so make sure you are working effectively. Take advantage of the information resources at the career services department. The good folks there can help you identify alumni working in the area in which you have chosen to focus. Perhaps they can help you narrow down your list further to alumni with other touch points such as same undergraduate school, same hometown, same name, similar work experience, etc.
Also, ask the professors who teach in the area (or even those that don’t) for contact information of former alumni or others they know who you could contact for advice (not for a job).